So, Christmas. Ahhh Christmas. If I had a house or could string up lights outside, you could equate me to Clark Griswold. Starting as early as Iris let’s me, I will play Christmas music non stop. I have my own set list that I very rarely sway from of nothing but the classics. I have my movie playlist, some of which I watch only once a season, and some multiple times a week. Ahhh Christmas.
I grew up on a farm and we always had a lot of snow in the winter. We’d decorate trees on the outside of our house, and wrap the fence that lined our drive way in big white lights. It was an old farmhouse, so the ceilings were quite tall which led to us getting large Christmas trees. There is a magic that revolves around Christmas-family, snow, lights, seeing your breath, the surprise of Christmas morning, music dedicated to this one event and of course the reason we celebrate in our household, the birth of Jesus. The hype is part of the fun for me. Many radio stations will play holiday tunes non stop the weeks leading up to the 25th. Stores are decorated, cars are decorated and there are Christmas concerts everywhere. It’s great.
And then there is the 26th of December.
A day that for me at least, is a massive buzz kill. Suddenly, the radio stations go back to playing what they were playing before Thanksgiving. No more tv specials, no more parades, no more big family or work get togethers. It all kind of ends..and people just complain about the winter weather from that point forward. The magic is gone, reality hits.
Oddly, I feel the same way after reaching some big accomplishment, meeting a big goal or attaining a major strategic point. Whether it be developing a team, opening a business or getting the nod to start a new project, the magic and charisma built around the moment leading up to that is gone. Casting vision is something I love to do. I love public speaking, I love sharing about what’s on my heart, the vision that I or my team has created for the future, the strategy of how to get there-it’s all fun for me. But, when the point comes and it’s time to start, the small pinhead of fear turns into a a major chasm in my chest. “Crap, they are counting on me. How in the world are we going to be able to continue on with what we’ve accomplished? My credibility could go out the window if this fails.”
I can get by on my own, pushing down the fear for a little while. But then it starts to infiltrate every aspect of my life. I either crumble and become uber controlling or I become paralyzed about what to do next. At least these are my two defaults. And by every aspect I mean family, friends, work, spiritual, emotional and physical. Thankfully, I have people in my life who I’ve surrounded myself with who can call me on these things. They tell me when I am in a downward spiral and can speak truth, encouragement and gentle correction into me.
One way is taking a moment, pausing and then being grateful
One major way I (usually) can put that feeling in it’s rightful place is taking a moment, pausing and then being grateful that I have the privilege to do it. Whether it’s taking on a multi-million dollar project or getting to run the meeting for the day, being grateful for what we have, the opportunity given, the trust others have in us and the relationships intertwined with each of these is something that can calm us down and focus on the next step or two that needs to take place for the vision to come to fruition. At least for me, this helps me to not become controlling and it also helps me to not become paralyzed.
Another way is to stop and take a moment to remember who I am
Another major way that I, again usually, can put this feeling back to it’s correct size is to stop and take a moment to remember who I am. I am not defined by the job I have, the title I’m given, the role I have at a company. I’m not defined by my salary, standard of living or stuff that I have. I’m not defined by a comparison of me versus someone else. For me, first and foremost, I am defined by what my God says about me. Second, I am defined by those things I chose to embrace about me. No one can ever take any of those things away from me. When I take a moment, pause and reflect on those, suddenly that overwhelming, let down, buzz kill, paralyzing, over controlling, “oh crap” feeling dissipates, or at least minimizes back to a proper size. Reality seems much clearer, attainable and enjoyable.
These aren’t the only things that help. I did say “usually” because sometimes there are other parts I have in my life that help me to refocus and not get caught up in panic mode.
The last, but massive influence is people. Like I mentioned earlier, I have people in my life who speak truth into me. This is the single most important gift in helping me realign myself as to what reality really means. Without the myriad of relationships I have that surround me, there is no way I would be where I am today. This way is not in the “usually” category because I am constantly calling on and asking for input from others. It’s a part of my rhythm and community I need.
These are just a few things I have done and learned to do in my life when reality hits. Maybe they’ll give some inspiration and insight into what you could do in yours. If you have any thoughts on this or ways you deal with reality, please comment below!